First, it seems that, in spite of all of the prior law enforcement reported here and elsewhere, massive fraud continues to be perpetrated against the federal government via Medicaid and Medicare. It’s impressive - 91 people and over 400 million dollars. Once again, South Florida appears to be an epicenter for this kind of criminal activity.
At least the US takes an interest in investigating and prosecuting fraud.....
Corruption or Incompetence?
This news item from the BBC should hardly be a surprise, as the previous posts covering misconduct related to the allocation of organs for transplants made it clear that this too is a ‘feature’ of Great Britain’s NHS. The scope of the problem is unknown, likely because there has been little or nothing in the way of investigation. I would bet that the scope is far greater than this news item from the BBC suggests:
This item does point out the existence of a class of ‘medical tourist’ that has been largely ignored in public discourse and press coverage: relatively indigent patients who bribe their way into a public health system. This is not a problem unique to Britain’s NHS. Everyone understands that this happens at county hospitals all over the USA, and that most of the recipients are illegal immigrants here.
It is worth noting that at least a third of the hospitals that England’s NHS queried didn’t even try to ascertain whether their patients were entitled to care. Why? They may be driven by high ethical standards. They might be constrained in the kinds of documents they can request patients to produce. They might be afraid of getting caught as those described in this story were. I do wonder if the administration of the NHS has ever broached this as a topic in any discussion with their public. My guess is that most Britons would be distressed to learn about the scope and expense of this diversion of their tax dollars.
Finally, in what should not be news to anyone who has read my previous posts here, there is growing bi-partisan concern about both the costs and consequences of the federal mandate for the electronic medical record, as this recent story documents:
Remember, you probably heard it here first.